I have few words

Like you, I’m following what’s happening around us. I’ve been creative, but I can’t pretend everything is normal … and I won’t dare suggest we return to what was.

I recently thought of something I wrote for BLOOD – which just barely touched the edges of all this – so I’ll leave it here in place of what I’d say, and do before the racism hit the fan (and it’s been flying toward us for decades):


it shouldn’t surprise me
that when you upset someone
they’ll assert their world
repeat their understanding
 
                           often in anger
 
because you’ve pulled them out of a warm place
and they want back in -
 
it’s like covering you in a cold but familiar blanket
they’ve carried with them for life
 
you’re no longer animal, beautiful,
         desired –
 
just the shape of a person
         no detail –
                           except for what they imagined
 
you’ve upset the loose footing they’ve kept
every muscle trembling
constricted, taut
 
like when the safety guard has failed
on the carnival ride
 
and the adult’s grip is slipping

it’s strange how fear travels
flows out from it wherever it lands
         like the fool who loosens a radiator cap too soon
         fearing the steam and hot fluid
         instead of his own hand
        
that I should be reviled
         as though something in my wounds could escape
         spray out – and injure the world
 
afraid of what may return
         travel along sightlines long buried
 
by a culture where violence
travels down one way streets
 
as though blood
         might destroy them
 
the way
         the injury destroyed you

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